Travelupdate: The Westcoast and our house rules

3 years ago  •  By  •  2 Comments

We are travelling along the beautiful Westcoast of the South Island, described as untamed wilderness.

24/7 together, 1700 km on bikes and a tent with 3,67 sq. meter. All the ingredients you need for miscommunications, small annoyances or a total war.

But our house rules and sign language helps prevents this. Most of the time :).

House rules
We are always teasing my mom that she has a ‘Vletter household manual’. So we present you the light version, the Vletter travel household manual’

1. No filters. Just plain and simple speak your heart out. A ‘#nofilter’ can be used prior, so the other person knows it is serious. (Spontaneous ‘#nofilters’ or ‘small annoyances’ sessions have arised and are hilarious)
2. Burbing and farting is only allowed during sport activities and if outside.
2.1 If you are cycling in front and need to let of some steam you will move to the side to prevent extra head wind for the other.
2.2  It is also allowed during night times if everbody is unconsious
3. Smelly socks, shoes or gloves stay out of the tent at all time period.
4. A razor is used frequently to prevent turning into a hippy or unatractive hearball
5. All gear has a fixed position. If something isn’t in it’s position Jorg lost it.

Communication with signs
When cycling verbal communication can be difficult due to the wind noise so we use hand signals to travel safe. The main hand signals:

– Two fingers walking: Pedestrian incoming
– Horizontale wave: the road becomes hilly
– Pointing to the seal: a crack, bump or pothole in  the road
– Hand straight up: Stop
– Thumb up: the road is clear good to go or the car behind us can pass
– a middle finger:  the one finger salut, not used yet

Heading for the westcoast
After our mini holiday in the Abel Tasman National Park we stayed one night at a beautiful home using the Warmshowers platform. Where cyclist can host other cyclist who are bike touring.

We then cycled through the Buller Gorge. A beautiful scenic route despite all of the sandflies. It only meant we couldn’t stand still without being eaten. But we where lucky to find campsites with indoor kitchens or lounges.

Was it that bad? yes it was, if we put our hand out of the tent 25 black vampiers had a party on our skin.

We continued towards Westport where we found two Fatboys at the Isite and sat outside without any sandflies. Lovely! We then met Wendy & Koen who we met before. They are travelling with a campervan and a tandem and adviced us to stay at the Bazils Backpackers. So we did and pitched our tent in their front garden.

Great Coast Road
From Westport we cycled along the famous Great Coast Road. It was a beautiful sunny day, the views where stunning and the climbs beautiful. This road lives up to it’s name.

We stayed in Punakaki and spend the afternoon by checking out the pancake rocks, blowholes and a local cave which you can explore freely.

We then cooked our best dish yet, Gado Gado. (More to come about cooking in another blog) and spend the evening with a dutch girl who was backpacking and cycling a lot and with an American who just moved to New Zealand and had a four week bike touring Holiday.

Typical days travelling for us along the westcoast. Beautiful cycling, suprisenly encounters  with nice people and mainly oversees tourists, because the Kiwi’s are back to work. Interessted in how a Kiwi decided our travel direction, how we spend Valentines day in goretex and our encounter with a travelling pig? Read our day by day report on our Polarsteps travelmap.

Great weather but Oma is coming
Until now we are extremely lucky with the weather on the Westcoast. It’s sunny, most of the time dry and not to hot. Perfect for cycling and for hiking. We even got a glimse of blue sky while looking at the Frans Joseph glasier when hiking the Robert’s Point track.

For the next week a lot of rain is predicted. The tropical cyclone, named Oma, is affecting the weather and may hit north New-Zealand (predictions differ)

So tomorrow we are taking the bus to Wanaka due to the weather, the favor for some comfort and Nadine’s small injury (she fell hard on her tailbone).

We are looking forward to explore a lot more of the southern island.

Comments 2

  1. Femke
    Gaaf en hilarisch verhaal weer! Prachtig filmpje. In m'n campertje geniet ik met jullie mee ... en net zelfs met jullie uitzicht! Wat brengt dat toch de grote afstand heel dichtbij. Loveyou2 Kuzzzzz
  2. Lisanne
    GENIET van Wanaka - 1 van onze favoriete spots in NZ!! :) Absolute aanrader om daar te gaan kajakken op het meer, met heel mooi uitzicht op de bergen. Again: GENIET!!